Aljunied, Hougang private estate residents get hotline

Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry, and National Development) Lee Yi Shyan (right) loading donated food items into a van on Sunday, as part of the One Connect initiative in Aljunied GRC and Hougang.

SINGAPORE - The People's Association (PA) on Sunday launched a one-stop hotline for private estate residents in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC - the first time it is available in any of the opposition wards.

The programme, known as One Connect, provides some 40,000 private estate residents in Aljunied and Hougang constituencies with just a single telephone number and e-mail address, to which they can direct their public maintenance issues such as parking congestion or cleanliness of sidewalks.

Residents of private estates do not have town councils run by MPs to resolve their estate issues, unlike public housing estates.

The One Connect initiative was first started in Ang Mo Kio GRC to make it easier for these residents to contact various government agencies, and has been rolled out in 12 Group Representation Constituencies since July last year. There are plans to roll it out at the three remaining GRCs, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Tanjong Pagar and Tampines.

Some 2,000 cases have been logged, with 90 per cent of them resolved, according to PA.

The initiative does not involve the constituencies' Workers' Party (WP) MPs.

Asked by reporters why that is the case, PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng said "this is a ground-up initiative by the grassroots themselves".

While Aljunied GRC and Hougang are WP-run constituencies, their MPs are not the grassroots advisers.

The PA-appointed advisers are usually members of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).

They include the party's Aljunied leaders Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Victor Lye, who attended Sunday's event along with Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry, and National Development) Lee Yi Shyan.

Also with them was Mr David Tay, former chief executive of SPH Magazines, who is the new grassroots adviser for the Serangoon ward.

Mr Ang added that the order in which the programme is being rolled out across the country was decided based on "the needs and readiness of the grassroots leaders", as some constituencies have higher concentrations of private estates.

Mr Lee said that the programme has also helped to bring residents and the neighbourhood committees together, and also helped to provide social outreach to the less fortunate.


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